Marines from special forces recognized for bravery in Afghanistan
Two Marines from Marine special forces have been awarded the Silver Star for bravery during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan in which they aggressively counter-attacked and helped save the lives of Marine and Afghan casualties.
In a ceremony this week at Camp Pendleton, the awards were made to Sgt. Charles Cartwright and Staff Sgt. Graham Jacobs for their quick reaction and courage during a Taliban ambush that occurred on Sept. 9, 2009, in Farah province.
The award to Cartwight was posthumous. He died of combat wounds in November 2009 at age 26.
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Lefebvre, commander of Marine Special Operations Command, presented the Silver Star to Cartwright's parents, Mike and Carol Ann Cartwright, and his widow, Marissa. Cartwright was on his fifth combat tour and had been twice wounded in previous battles.
"He loved his job and if dying was what it took to accomplish the mission, he was willing to go that far," said Marissa Cartwright. The couple had been married less than a year.
The Silver Star citation said Cartwright "refused treatment until the enemy threat was neutralized and the Afghan casualty was safely treated by the team medic."
The citation for Jacobs said that he "directed the recovery effort while providing accurate fires, eliminating another enemy."
Ten other Marines also received Bronze Stars for valor during battles in Farah and Badghis provinces in 2009 and 2010.
"What they did didn't happen by accident," Lefebvre said, "and it didn't just happen because they are Marines. It was about making a choice and protecting their families."
The Bronze Stars were awarded to: Capt. Paul Marcy; Capt. Steve Keisling; 1st Sgt. Bradley Baiotto; Master Sgt. Jack Kelly; Master Sgt. Jerome Root; Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Nelums; Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Croninger; Staff Sgt. Michael Mackay; Staff Sgt. Michael Musick Jr.; and Staff Sgt. Daniel Price.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Maj. Gen. Paul Lefebvre, commander of Marine Special Operations Command, presents the Silver Star to the parents and widow of Sgt. Charles Cartwright. Credit: Marine Corps